Sirvintu - Giedraičių battles

Duration: 3 h.
Distance: 28 km
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Volunteers and privates of Lithuanian army fought for the freedom of Lithuania in decisive battles against Polish army and stopped the invasion into the heart of Lithuania. Final resting places of soldiers who have fallen in the fights are marked by concrete crosses in the city cemetery. Monuments were built in Sirvintos and Giedraiciai to reminds us of their desire for freedom, courage and sacrifice.

Route plan

1) Monument to the victims of Lithuanian Independence (Sirvintos)

Duration of visit: 15 min.

On November 19, 1920, soldiers of the Lithuanian Army fought for independence In the battle of the Sirvintos, they encountered Polish aggression and stopped them pushing deeply into Lithuania.
In the spring of 1925, the meeting of the intelligentsia and society of the Širvintai district was summoned at the initiative of I. Juodenikis (Juodeskas), the border guard police of Sirvintos. The Committee for the Slaughter of Volunteers in Independence Battles has been set up. In 1926, the Committee collected about 10 thousand pages of donations. Litas, part of which was spent on five tombstones in the vicinity of Širvintos. For the remaining unused ones - to build a monument to Sirvintos. The monument to Lithuanian soldiers was unveiled on August 15, 1927, one of the first in Lithuania. The monument was then enclosed with a wooden fence, and during the opening ceremonies it was surrounded by a long grass crown that was hung on the high pillars. Gediminas' columns with the inscription "The dead in battle will live forever" from the grasslands. The author of the monument is the participant of the battle of Giedraičiai-Širvintos, sculptor Robert Antinas (senior). The monument of Lithuanian soldiers, created for Sirvintos, stands on the square near Širvintos St. Church of Michael the Archangel. The sculptor portrayed a stumbling mother who holds her dying son. The sculpture is mounted on a rectangular post where the front plane has a cross, a shield with the Vytis Cross and a sword relief. 20th century In the middle of the monument was demolished. In 1991 The monument to the victims of Lithuania's Independence, rebuilt at the expense of Širvintai, was authored by Robert Antini (junior).

Duration: < 10 min. Distance: 2 km

2) The graves of Lithuanian soldiers in Sirvintos

Duration of visit: 15 min.

Sirvintos is a city in the east of Lithuania. The city flows through the Sirvintos River. In the city it is blocked and forms the Sirvintos pond. Crossing the bridge across the lagoon south, we arrive at the old cemetery of Sirvintos - near the road to the left. As far as the walk, the territory of Lithuanian war cemeteries is surrounded by an iron fence. The soldiers buried here after one of the most striking moments of the history of the city of Širvintų - 1920. Sirvintos-Giedraičiai Battle. During the Independence battles at the Sirvintos-Giedraičiai, the Lithuanian Army won the battle against the Polish forces, forced them to stop the offensive and retire to previously occupied positions. This battle stopped the rise of Polish General L. Želigovskis in

Lithuania's Depth, preserved Lithuania's Independence. The area with the surrounding area was located in a neutral zone, which was abolished in 1923. and Sirvintos went to Lithuania. 23 cemeteries of Lithuanian soldiers were cemented in these graveyards. Above them is the marking of Lithuanian monuments - concrete crosses with the sun and names of soldiers. Most of the graves of soldiers are marked by concrete crosses made by the painter Antanas Aleksandravičius and Adomas Varnas. They are built for soldiers in eternal resting places. The regular volunteers of the 7th Infantry Samogitian Prince Butehige Regiment were buried there. Most of them fell in autumn 1920 during the Sirvintos-Giedraičiai battle in Sirvintos. Also in the town of Giedraiciai, in Motiejunai and in the surrounding villages. In the same battle, Polish soldiers dropped in Sirvintos were buried near Lithuanian graves. Polish soldiers' graves are marked by the same Lithuanian crosses. This shows that the lost soldier, even during the war, was not an enemy to civilized nations. At the expense of the Department of Cultural Heritage Protection, the graves of Lithuanian soldiers in Širvintos, which died in 1920, were restored. fights for independence of Lithuania. On November 19, Lithuania annually celebrates the year of the independence struggle in Sirvintos.

Duration: 20 min. Distance: 23 km

3) The place of the Battle of Giedraičiai – a symbolic cannon to commemorate the Battle of Giedraičiai

Duration of visit: 1 h.

On 9 October 1920, General Lucian Zeligovsky's unit captured Vilnius and continued its offensive to the west and north-west. On 17 November, the attack on Ukmergė launched by the Polish army stalled. They succeeded in capturing Širvintos and Giedraičiai. The attack was launched by the Lithuanian army on the night of 20–21 November. Part of the military forces attacked Giedraitis. The 2nd Infantry Regiment came from Želva, and the 9th Battalion of the 9th Infantry Regiment came from Videniškės. As the Lithuanians attacked in the direction of Giedraičiai, heavy fighting took place in the vicinity of Giedraičiai, near Šiupieniai (Šiupieniai Manor) and the outbuildings of Seirūnai Manor. Also, in Bekupė manor – 4 km northwest of Giedraičiai. Polish soldiers stopped at the heights of the front line against Giedraičiai, supported by artillery fire at Martiniškės manor. This is where the Poles made their last stand against the Lithuanians. Later, units of the Lithuanian army drove the Poles out of their positions and entered Giedraičiai. The site of the Battle of Giedraičiai is marked and commemorated by a symbolic cannon.

Duration: < 1 min. Distance: 980 m

4) The Monument to the Soldiers killed for Lithuania‘s Freedom in 1920

Duration of visit: 1 h.

Forces attacked Giedraiciai. 2nd infantry regiment began an assault from Zelva. 9th battalion of infantry regiment began from Videniskiai. When lithuanians attacked in the direction of Giedraiciai intensive fights took place at Siupeniai (Siupeniai manor) and Seirunai manor farm buildings. Fights continued at Bekupe manor, four kilometers northwest of Giedraiciai. Polish soldiers held the front line at the elevation near Giedraiciai. They were supported by artillery fire from Martiniskiai manor. Here poles stood for the last time before lithuanian army units drove them away and entered Giedraiciai. Lithuanian army was back at original positions held before November 17th. Fallen polish soldiers were buried in Giedraiciai cemetery on November 23rd. Fallen lithuanians were buried in Giedraiciai, Zelva, Ukmerge cemeteries.

Battle activities were ended by the League of Nations. On November 29th an armistice was signed in Kaunas between the government of the Republic of Lithuania and representatives of Zeligowski. For two decades occupied part of Lithuania and capital Vilnius remained under therule of Poland.

Duration: < 10 min. Distance: 2.9 km